The 13th-century mural was discovered four years ago at Massa Marittima, a town south-west of Siena. Dr Ferzoco believes it was intended as a warning, by supporters of the papacy, of the anarchy and licentiousness that would supposedly engulf the town if it fell into the hands of their political rivals.
The bird's nest story from the Malleus tells of a witch who, using "glamour," tricked men into believing that their penises had been removed. She kept all the penises in a bird's nest, where she fed them oats and such. One young man, distraught at having been deprived of his member, asked the witch to restore it to him. She took pity on him and told him he could climb up the tree to grab one, but not the "largest one, because it belonged to the village priest." Kramer and Sprenger were the most humourless of Dominicans, and they reported all of these stories as fact.
What I find fascinating about the mural as described in the article is, as the researchers say, it points to the anarchy that results when sodomy and licentiousness take place. Civilization must, as Freud pointed out, get our baser impulses under control. Governments cannot run if there is sexual anarchy in the streets. The government depends on a well-ordered family unit, headed by a father, in order to inculcate political obedience into its citizens. Pierre de Lancre wrote extensively on this in 16th century France, and the worst threats to this well-ordered system were "witches" and Jews. Witches because they subverted the order of the household and Jews because they didn't believe in Christ, who had given power to the king.
The government is like the family, and increasingly, the Bush White House has reverted to these medieval systems. Daddy President will take care of us if we all get in line and obey. And those nasty homosexuals and loose women are a threat to that system. Everyone has to be in a nuclear family unit so that we can all be good, obedient children to our daddy. That's what all this moral values bullshit is really about. Control. Consolidation of political power. Daddy knows best, even if it means leading us into an ill-conceived war that will cost thousands of us are lives.